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Toledo Pulls Out Extra-Inning Victory at Charlotte, 6-5

Courtesy: Toledo Athletics
Release: 02/25/2012
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Courtesy: Toledo Athletics
Senior CF Ben Hammer belted a home run in the 10th frame to lift Toledo to a 6-5 extra-inning victory against Charlotte on Saturday.
CHARLOTTE, NC - Senior CF Ben Hammer belted a home run in the 10th frame to lift Toledo to a 6-5 extra-inning victory against Charlotte on Saturday at Robert and Mariam Hayes Stadium. With the win, the Rockets improve to 3-2 on the season.

Hammer (1-for-4, RS, RBI) blasted a two-out, solo round tripper off the 49ers' Tyler Pilkington (0-1) to help UT even the weekend series at one game each.

Senior RHP Matt Kuna (1-0) was credited with the victory in relief. Kuna worked 3.0 solid innings and allowed only one unearned run on no hits with a pair of strikeouts to collect his first win of the season.

Senior 3B Joe Corfman (3-for-5, RS) paced the Rockets with a season-high three hits, while senior DH Jeff Cola (2-for-5, RS) and senior 1B Mark Lapikas (2-for-5, RS, 3 RBI) tallied multi-hit efforts against four Charlotte (4-2) hurlers.

UT started out strong for the second consecutive game and plated a season-high four runs in its opening at-bat. The Midnight Blue & Gold sent eight batters to the dish vs. Charlotte starter Corey Roberts, taking advantage of a three-run blast by Lapikas and a solo shot off the bat of freshman SS Dan Zuchowski (1-for-4, 2 RS, RBI). Zuchowski now leads the squad with two home runs on the young season.

Charlotte chipped away at its early deficit with one run in the bottom of the first, two in the third and one in the fourth inning off UT senior RHP Alex Radon to draw the teams even.

The Rockets reclaimed the lead on the strength of a RBI double by sophomore C James Miglin (1-forf-3, RBI) in the sixth inning.

Charlotte threatened to take its first lead of the non-league matchup in the eighth frame, as the home team had runners on second and third base with one out, but UT's Kuna recorded a much-needed double play to stave off the potential big opportunity.

The 49ers were a resilient bunch, though, and took advantage of a walk, a wild pitch and a passed ball with a runner on third base in the bottom of the ninth inning to knot the score at 5-5 and send the game into extra frames.

In the 10th inning, the first two Toledo batters recorded outs before Hammer belted his first home run of the season to right field to make the final score, 6-5.

Toledo's Kuna then tossed a perfect bottom of the 10th frame to close out the victory and set the stage for tomorrow's rubber match.

The Rockets and 49ers will wrap up their three-game series tomorrow at Noon.

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